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7 of the most impressive examples of digital out-of-home advertising campaigns

Out-of-home (OOH) advertising is one of the most cost-effective and far-reaching advertising channels. In recent years, more and more brands have turned to digital out-of-home (DOOH) to take the benefits of traditional OOH even further.

October 16, 2020

Digital out-of-home advertising empowers advertisers to create immersive, memorable, and often interactive campaigns. 

And as machine learning and AI become more affordable and widely accessible, DOOH will undoubtedly become increasingly innovative over the coming years. AI allows brands to create truly interactive, data-driven, and personalized campaigns that go beyond reach and impressions to real customer engagement. 

That's likely why DOOH accounted for 28.3% of all OOH ads in 2019 and is predicted to reach 38.3% by 2023. In fact, DOOH was the main driver of growth in OOH advertising worldwide in 2019.

So, what makes up a successful digital out-of-home ad? Keep reading to find out. We'll cover 7 of our favorite digital OOH examples and what makes them so successful. 

1. Beauty Unaltered (CVS)

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New York City's Times Square is one of the most iconic and well-known spots for DOOH ads, making it an excellent choice of location for CVS's #BeautyUnaltered digital out-of-home ads. 

This ad ran as part of CVS's Beauty Mark social media campaign, an interactive campaign that encouraged users to upload their unedited selfies to social media with the hashtag #BeautyUnaltered.

Within minutes of launching the campaign, users began uploading unaltered, unfiltered selfies using #BeautyUnaltered and @cvs_beauty, earning over 3.6 billion impressions. Every 10 seconds, a different consumer’s image showed on the Times Square digital signage, showing larger-than-life, unretouched images celebrating real beauty. The dynamic digital billboard was paired with a standard digital billboard featuring awareness messaging. 

Overall, this DOOH example taps into a cultural shift toward celebrating unfiltered, unedited beauty and away from unrealistic beauty standards, pairing a strong campaign with a high-profile location and dynamic user-generated content. 


2. Interactive personalized content (GMC) 

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In this interactive campaign for the new Acadia SUV, GMC used facial analytics technology and proximity-based marketing to create engaging digital signage featuring dynamic content.

Sounds a little futuristic, but cameras in the digital display used artificial intelligence were actually able to detect audience demographics, such as age and gender, then serve one of 30 possible targeted video ads to the viewer.

For example, if the anonymous audience detection facial analytics technology detected recognized a family with kids, the ad showed a video targeted at families.  Passersby went out of their way to interact with the digital signage, and as people interacted more with the kiosk, it engaged them with interactive games like Simon Says.

This campaign was one of the first of its kind and serves as an example of the potential of machine learning in digital out-of-home advertising. GMC harnessed the power of DOOH to personalize their content and use targeted messaging in a way that deepened audience engagement. 


3. Weather-reactive McCafe campaign (McDonald's)

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This McDonald's campaign in the UK is another fun digital OOH example featuring dynamic content. The campaign featured two of McDonald's frozen drinks, strawberry lemonade and the "Millionaire's Frappe."

The campaign used weather data to advertise seasonal drinks. When the temperature rose above 22 degrees Celsius -- i.e. a temperature that was likely to make a cold drink more tempting to passersby -- the relevant campaign creative played on the digital signage. 

If the temperature hit above 25 degrees Celsius, the creative automatically updated to include the city name and current temperature. As the temperature dropped at night, the city name and current temperature were removed from the creative.

Running through June and July of 2019, this weather-reactive creative advertised McDonald's summer drinks in a much more engaging way than your typical static billboard, providing relevant, timely and useful content to audiences based on their ever-evolving lived experiences. 

4. Targeted elevator ads (LASIK MD)


For this digital OOH advertising example, Lasik MD's marketing team came to Vertical Impression with a big question: Can your platform identify elevator riders who are wearing glasses, then deliver different ad creative to them to promote our services?

Our team adapted out-of-home ad tech to target laser eye surgery candidates. The technology recognized whether or not an elevator rider was wearing glasses and updated the creative accordingly. The ad's dynamic messaging changed based on the type of eyewear the rider was wearing at the time.

These digital out-of-home advertisements delivered 11 million targeted impressions to people who wore glasses, increasing engagement by 17% among targeted glasses-wearing elevator riders. The ad tech also recognized age and gender, allowing Lasik MD's marketing team to segment their results further. (Learn more about LASIK MD's DOOH elevator campaign in our case study.)


5. Make the Most of Summer (Google)

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Google's "Make the Most of Summer" campaign included responsive, data-driven digital OOH advertising centred around the experience of summer in the UK. The campaign highlights Google's Search and Maps functionalities by showing popular local and seasonal search terms, like "Best ice cream in Glasgow" or "Parks near me."

The campaign also engaged customers across London, Manchester, and Birmingham through dynamic, full-motion sites featuring the results for search terms, including business hours, star ratings, and map directions. In some placements, the creative even reacted to the time of day or local weather conditions.   

What makes these responsive digital ads such a strong example of DOOH advertising? “There’s something unique about the British interest in the weather and the way we react to summer," Graham Bednash, Director of Consumer Marketing at Google UK, explains. "We love the way this campaign really captures that and shows how Google Search and Maps can help people make the most of it.” 


6. Out There for Us (Ad Council)

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To thank essential workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ad Council launched a campaign called "Out There For Us." The campaign uses DOOH ad space to show gratitude for essential workers, including healthcare workers, delivery drivers, grocery store employees, and many more. 

The Ad Council invited people across the US to share messages of gratitude on social media with the hashtag #OutThereForUs, then showed those messages on the digital OOH ads, all of which were strategically placed along routes to hospitals, outside grocery stores in major cities, and on highway road signs.

This digital out-of-home advertising example, developed pro-bono by R/GA, shows that sometimes, the simplest creative can be the most effective.

7. Pose with the Pros (Dallas Cowboys)

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In September 2019, the Dallas Cowboys launched their interactive "Pose with the Pros" kiosks in concourses at AT&T stadium. An engaging digital out-of-home advertising example, these interactive screens invited fans to take pictures of themselves with (virtual) members of the Dallas Cowboys.

Fans could select up to five of their favorite Cowboys players to pose with, then the AR application overlaid the players around the individual or small group in the picture. Fans could then share their virtual group picture on social media or email it to themselves, family, and friends. 

The interactive experience is powered by AT&T, showing off its 5G technology. When speaking about this campaign, the CMO of AT&T Business explained  "We were able to create experiences that let people know how fundamentally different 5G is from LTE".

The result? A dynamic digital OOH ad experience that engages fans and highlights AT&T's new technology. 

The power of digital OOH advertising

We hope you’re feeling inspired by these campaigns

Our work with Lasik MD is just one example of the type of data-driven, dynamic out-of-home advertising experience available to today's brands through our platform. At Vertical Impression, we’re no strangers to the media planning and media buying process. In fact, it’s something we’re rather keen on.

Why?

Our platform is based around digital out-of-home advertising, and we're passionate about how powerful this channel can be. These are just a few of our favorite examples of truly impressive DOOH ads — and we can't wait to see how the medium evolves alongside new technology and opportunities for audience engagement. 

Learn more about the power of AI and digital out-of-home advertising

Start planning a smarter campaign today.